Shop local with Poppy

There is one place on the farm I’m never allowed to go – and not for lack of trying! Today is no exception; tugging on my lead I try to get Charlotte to finally let me follow my nose right into the Farm Shop.

I notice her smirk out of the corner of my eye but avoid looking at her – surely this time I’ll get away with it?!

“No Pops, come on now,” she laughs, bringing me to an abrupt halt. Rats! Foiled again!

“You know you can’t go in there. How about the tearoom – there are treats in there.”

That is true… and I am almost tempted, but the shop just smells so delicious. I plonk myself down on the ground defiantly, ignoring my stomach growling faintly in favour of my sit-down protest.

“Alright, suit yourself.” Charlotte perches herself on the wall next to me, “You may be stubborn, but I know you’re peckish!”

She is quiet for a moment, seeming to find the doorway to the shop most interesting. My somewhat opportunistic attempt to sneak towards it brings her back to earth though.

“It looks a lot different these days. Back in 2004, when Ben opened this place, it was just a little lean-to. Just look what it’s grown into, along with the café [Arthur’s Farm Kitchen] we named after Dad!

“It’s a great thing that customers have supported them all these years – shopping local makes a difference to the environment and the local community too.”

Sitting back down, I look up at Charlotte as she scratches me between the ears.

“Supporting local businesses means money get recirculated in the local economy. I read that a government study that said £3.85 in every £10 spent locally is recirculated in the community. This is because local businesses are more likely to purchase from local suppliers.

“We certainly try to! The meat is ours, but we stock the shop and café from places like Pimhill Farm for oats and Belton Dairy for our cheeses.”

She chuckles, seeing my ears prick up at the mention of cheese.

“You know Pops, when people shop locally, they don’t have to travel as far to make their purchases; and, as a bonus, the products themselves usually haven’t travelled as far as those from larger chain stores too.

“We all hear that phrase ‘food miles’ all the time, but it is important we reduce them to look after our environment. Around 35% of the UK’s carbon output is down to unnecessary food transport.”

She looks down at me and notices I’m gazing off into the distance.

“You haven’t heard a word since ‘cheese’ have you Pops?” she laughs, “Come on you, that offer for a treat in the café is still open.”


Poppy x


This article was first featured in the Winter 2023 edition of the Grazer magazine. For more info and to subscribe, visit:

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